Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Animator: Ray Harryhausen (1920- )

Ray Harryhausen is an American film producer and a special effects creator, who uses Stop- motion to create the most incredible of the environments. Harryhausen's passion started as a child, he liked to make his own models of dinosaurs and other monsters, all perceived from the museums he had visited and films he had watched. The direct influence for his work was the ancestor in special effects Willis O'Brien, with the creation of Kong.
Although Harryhausen's stop motion follows the same concepts of O'brien's one, by the means of the evolution of technology, Harryhausen's is more fluent with lesser bumps. and allows him to create superb environments such as the colossus in Jason and the Argonauts.

Jason and the Argonauts was showed to us yesterday, as a film which it is known only by one name, Ray Harryhausen because of the special effects.

Jason and the Argonauts is a 1963, fantasy and mythology feature film directed by Don Chaffrey. It shows Jason's trip to Colchis, a land on the other side of the world. As he adventures in this quest many incidents will occur, from fighting with Titans to fighting with hydras and skeletons.
Exactly, this film is really famous for his story, because apart from being a transcription from a Greek legend, it was also changed to adapt better to time. And no, the acting is horrible, making us laugh in some parts where he shouldn't suppose to. I mention what is famous and well produced for its time in this film. The special effects, yes the special effects are a delight to look at.
Although they may look a bit dated, as nowadays the use of CG took over the special effects in film. For that time the use of stop-motion was the only technique used and how mastered it was by Harryhausen. From the fight with the Colossus, though a bit bumpy it created actually a good effect, to the fight with the hydra and its seven heads which had been a challenge to animate. Not forgetting the most dynamic and interactive scene of them all, the skeleton fights, Although this scene looks also dated, it is still a pleasure to look at it because it was one of the 1 big steps onto intereaction between special effects and the characters. Previously in King Kong, also interact with the set and with the characters but no in such dynamic way, as a sword fight.

While, Jason is fighting the Skeleton is visible some faults, not by the part of animation , but rather from acting, but really who cares when you are presented to such an innovative and frenetic scene in the history of cinema.

To conclude that Harryhausen was a real master in stop-motion, creating scenes never imagined possible by man.


Jackie said...

Hi Ruben! Good old Royal Mail, hey?!

If your paper does not come tomorrow morning, get yourself a layout pad from the uni shop - they are only about £2.50 and will do for the morphing exercise... that's what I used.

Ruben Martins said...

ok thanks!! it was uk mail, I dont know if it is the same stuff, as here seems to be 10 mails but the problem none do a good job.

sure I will get that, if it doesnt come!